Eight Essential Building Blocks of (Social) CRM

By Kyle Lacy, Stephanie Diamond, Jon Ferrara

The year was 1995, and the research firm Gartner coined the first definition of CRM: “Customer Relationship Management is a business strategy with outcomes that optimize profitability, revenue, and customer satisfaction by organizing around customer segments, fostering customer-satisfying behaviors, and implementing customer-centric processes.”

Gartner also introduced the Eight Essential Building Blocks of CRM, a list that is a good starting point for Social CRM.

  • Vision: What’s your company’s vision? Are you including your mission statement and goals in your marketing strategy? They also apply to the CRM philosophy of driving customer-centric data and communication.

  • Strategy: What’s your strategy for reaching the customer? How do you manage the relationship before and after the sale?

  • Valued customer experience: In this customer-centric world, experience is paramount to everything else. By using CRM to manage your contacts, you’re creating a truly valuable experience for your customers. You’re remembering their needs and wants!

  • Organizational collaboration: Do your employees work together and share data? Collaboration is the key to success in many organizations.

  • Processes: Are your sales processes streamlined? Do you use software to manage the data and development of prospects?

  • Information: CRM allows you to store information that would otherwise be lost to paper, trash cans, and spilled milk.

  • Technology: Do you build technology into your overall marketing strategy? Allowing great technology behind CRM is essential to success.

  • Metrics: Data is king in the world of CRM. Are you managing your metrics effectively?

These eight building blocks are just the beginning to developing the CRM strategy. You must also take into account the social and business side of CRM, which allows your company to truly be customer centric. A customer-centric strategy involves using computing power to optimize customer relationships.